Zac’s story is not good, it is extremely lengthy and involved a court battle to retrieve her, so we can only submit a summary. The photos are in sequence.
A lady who had many parrots and many years’ experience of keeping parrots bought Zac from a pet shop because she felt sorry for her – her owner, to whom she was bonded, had returned to Australia. Zac was a very tame bird, she had travelled with her owner up and down the country, she loved to ride in the car. Zac was very stressed in the pet shop and had started to pluck herself. During Zac’s quarantine period in the lady’s home, her condition improved and her plucking reduced significantly. She was then rehoused to a large play-aviary, that offered her the company of other birds who also shared the same building, but not the same aviary. In due course, another blue & yellow macaw was gradually introduced to Zac for companionship. The two birds were then placed in an outside flight during the summer. They appeared to be very compatible, the companion was also a pet bird so there was quite a lot of contact between myself and this pair. Zac seemed to still need the companionship of humans, so the lady attempted to find Zac a suitable person to adopt her, as she could not give her the attention she needed due to the large amount of work involved with the care of her other birds. The lady contacted NLPR In February 1998 and was given the name of a potential adoptee who we thought would be suitable. Following the required procedure, involving application and telephone conversations, the lady placed Zac with her new adopted guardians in March 1998 under an NLPR adoption contract.
Zac’s person made several telephone calls to enquire after Zac and was assured she was fine. She received a photograph of Zac five months after her adoption and noticed that she had increased her plucking but otherwise looked fine. The lady, who retained original ownership of Zac, did not get the yearly updates that form part of the NLPR Adoption Agreement, but kept in touch herself by telephone. Suspicions to the care Zac was receiving from her adoptive guardians and the lack of contact on the guardians part began to mount until they could not be ignored. On 17th October 2001 NLPR and Zac’s original owner paid the adoptive guardians an unannounced visit. Sadly, Zac’s living conditions were totally unacceptable, what we saw was shocking. Zac was bald, apart from head, flight and upper-wing feathers. Her tail was very ragged and her colour was washed-out, and her feet were encased in dried faeces. The cage was dirty with rancid food, and there was mouldy food on the floor of her cage. It was impossible to repossess Zac at the time of inspection, so we went through the County Court to retrieve her. On July 31 2002 New Life Parrot Rescue & Helpline Service won its 9 month legal battle against the guardians for the return of Zac. The hearing took place at Norwich County Court and lasted a whole day.
The photos of Zac’s bare back and side view were taken a few days after retrieving her from the guardians, in August 2002. Up until 2005, Zac co-habited with two other blue & yellow macaws and a lesser sulphur-crested cockatoo in a fully furnished birdroom, where she was at liberty. We had to separate her due to her aggressive behaviour toward the female macaw. Zac is now housed in an open room where she is at liberty on a log structure. She has human attention, toys and a swing, which she adores and where she roosts overnight.